Our VeganFest
in the land down under

Tasha Gergel

I live on an island off the coast of an island. 

In this southern-most state of Australia we held VeganFest Tasmania 2018, and it’s happening again in 2019!

Tasmania is a small island state, south of mainland Australia, filled with rugged natural wilderness and beauty. 

Primary industries such as forestry, animal agriculture, mining and tourism have been prominent in the state’s history. Tasmania is known for its strong environmental and animal activist sentiment, fighting for the protection of its ancient landscapes and those who live there.

VeganFest Tasmania was held November 4th 2018 and was a huge success! An estimated three thousand people, far greater than we expected, attended a family-fun event organized by Animals Tasmania. Showcased were vegan goods, services and a wide variety of food. Cooking demonstrations and speakers also featured. Children’s activities and music rounded out a perfect day in which we celebrated compassion, kindness and respect to all. Sustainable and eco-friendly practices and themes were also represented at our festival.

My journey to veganism has been gradual. It first began some twenty-five years ago when I was informed of the truth about factory farming of pigs in Australia. I immediately decided to stop eating pigs but continued to eat and wear other animal products. 

Why the disconnect? Convenience? Habit? Tradition? All of these.

 

In October 2016 I stopped eating meat as I became more involved with the animal rights organizations in Hobart, Tasmania. But it was in February 2017, whilst volunteering for the Be Fair Be Vegan campaign, that I learned the full truth about eggs and dairy. I realized I could no longer support these industries. I wanted to do everything I could to raise awareness of the exploitation and suffering of animals. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits I have enjoyed since becoming vegan are another story. 

Suffice to say I wish I had done it much sooner, but everyone’s path is different.

Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania was founded in 2003 and later renamed Animals Tasmania. I joined as a committee member, after volunteering for a few years and have been Secretary since 2017. The inaugural VeganFest Tasmania has aligned us with other Australian states running vegan festivals. 

We plan to hold it every year close to World Vegan Day (1st November).

The festival has already outgrown its original location, as we anticipate a much bigger attendance this year. We are hoping to attract a minimum of five thousand people. We therefore have relocated to a newly opened community venue, Kingborough Community Hub, less than fifteen minutes from Hobart. This venue offers more space, an outdoor area of grass, trees and a beautiful, sunny aspect with a stunning view of Mt Wellington/kunanyi in the distance.

At this time, stallholders are still being finalized but we know they will be creative, innovative and amazing! There will be an array of delicious vegan food and beverages to enjoy, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, music, children’s activities area and more….! Most importantly there will be a community of people who have made compassionate choices coming together to enjoy VeganFest Tasmania as a celebration for life!

So come visit beautiful Tasmania and join VeganFest Tasmania on Sunday, 3rd November 2019. 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest updates 

and enjoy a true vegan festival in the land down under.

Our VeganFest in the land down under was originally published in VeganNation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.